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December 14, 2013
Eagles off to Carson
Heading into Friday's Division I Regional Bowl game, only five programs had made multiple trips to the state bowl games. Del Oro moved the list to six and just the second public school program after beating Serra 28-20 at San Jose City College.
The Golden Eagles never trailed after Dylan Kainrath scored from 26 yards out on Del Oro's third offensive play. Following a nine yard touchdown run from Serra quarterback Matthew Fa'aita, Del Oro got the ball on its own one yard line. Kainrath tilted the field with a 77 yard run and quarterback Michael Moore found tight end Tyler Meteer for a 22 yard touchdown and a 14-7 lead.
"Huge," Del Oro head coach Casey Taylor said of the 99 yard drive. "We felt we had to sustain some drives. Dylan popped it and took it (77 yards). I think that really got us some confidence and some momentum in the first half."
Leading 21-14 at halftime, Del Oro's special teams got into the act when talented sophomore Trey Udoffia returned a punt 39 yards to put the Golden Eagles up two touchdowns. Serra countered with two red zone field goals (25 yards and 33 yards), but were stopped on downs and threw an interception in the fourth quarter to halt a comeback.
Emotions started to boil over in the second half with Serra three personal fouls. While the turnovers didn't result in points for Del Oro, they extended drives for an offense which struggled in the second half (71 total second half yards). Serra was able to frustrate Del Oro at points with its up tempo offense and short passing game, but couldn't develop the ground attack and didn't finish enough drives.
"I thought our guys did a good job of not giving up the big play for touchdowns. Those field goals were huge for us. They could have had chances to score touchdowns," Taylor said.
Continuing his big year, Kainrath finished with 207 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries. Meteer had seven catches for 80 yards and the first half touchdown. Moore went 10-for-11 in the first half, but finished 11-for-15 for 105 yards. Senior captain Tanner Woods was outstanding on the defensive line with multiple sacks and also leading the offensive line.
"Tanner Woods has done it all year. He has done it the last three years. He's a player of the year guy in our area, maybe Northern California. He makes plays," Taylor said. "He's one of the best I've coached and easily the best (defensive) lineman we've had at Del Oro. The guy never comes off the field."
Fa'aita carried the ball 18 times for 47 yards, including an exciting 32 yard run to give Serra a chance on its final drive. He also threw for 197 yards. Kava Cassidy had 77 receiving yards and 47 rushing yards.
Del Oro (13-2) will face Bakersfield on Friday night in the Division I state bowl game. It lost the 2012 Division II state bowl to Helix.